How Much Alfalfa Pellets To Feed A Horse? (Solution found)

Usually 15-20 lbs per day of alfalfa or timothy pellets for a 1000# horse. pellets daily over 2-3 weeks. Put the pellets in a bucket, cover with warm water, and then dump them into a large muck bucket and feed immediately.

  • How Much Alfalfa Pellets To Feed A Horse? should eat approximately 16 pounds of alfalfa cubes per day. Horses are individuals, and their diet should be adjusted based on their fitness level and body condition. If you notice your horse losing weight, feeding 1.5% of its body weight in alfalfa increase the volume of cubes you’re feeding.

How many alfalfa pellets should I feed my horse?

You could start with adding 1 lb (0.45 kg) per day per horse and see how well they tolerate it. Then you can slowly increase the amount as desired. You should observe a difference in weight with 2 lb (1 kg) of alfalfa pellets a day added to your current feeding program.

Can you feed a horse just alfalfa pellets?

Therefore, alfalfa pellets can be used to add pellets to a horse’s diet but it is not necessary. The impact that pellets have on a horse’s diet is minimal. Alfalfa pellets for horses usually come in fifty-pound bags and can be found at almost any feed store.

Will alfalfa pellets put weight on a horse?

Alfalfa is higher in calories and protein than grass hays, which makes it an excellent choice to help to add weight to a thin horse. If your horse tends to be wasteful with his hay, he may eat more when offered alfalfa hay cubes or pellets.

Can you feed alfalfa pellets dry to horses?

The pellets can be fed dry, but many horses prefer them to be soaked in water and fed as a mash. For young horses, old horses, and those with dental issues, soaking the pellets first may be a necessity. Horses can be sensitive to diet changes, so always make any diet change slowly.

How many pounds of alfalfa pellets equal a flake of hay?

Banned. Rachel1786 has it. One pound of pellets equals one pound of hay.

How much does a 3 quart scoop of grain weigh?

The ‘standard’ horse sized food scoop can hold 3 quarts, which is APPROXIMATELY 3 lbs of food. But again, this varies. If you have a kitchen scale, use this to weigh out one full scoop.

Should alfalfa pellets be soaked?

I have found alfalfa pellets need to be soaked in between five and six hours to fully break down. In the winter months, I soak them overnight so they are ready to be fed the next day. However, this is not possible during the warmer months in Arizona due to pellets getting hot and molding while being soaked.

Is it better to feed horses alfalfa cubes or pellets?

Alfalfa cubes are a better source of forage than pellets. It’s recommended they eat at least 1% of their body weight per day as forage as either hay, grass, or chaff with some grain. Therefore, they provide some benefits of long-stem forage and can safely replace hay in an equine diet.

What’s the difference between alfalfa pellets and timothy pellets?

Alfalfa hay is typically higher in protein and essential nutrients than timothy hay, making Alfalfa a better option for more active animals that need a high protein diet. Alfalfa also has more calories per pound than timothy, so it’s generally the preferred choice of sport horse owners.

How many pounds are in one scoop of horse feed?

Equine nutrition consultants often hear from horse owners that they use a 1-kg ( 2.2-lb ) scoop.

How do I build my horse’s topline?

Here are some tips on how to develop a strong topline in your horse.

  1. Assess your situation.
  2. Read This Next: Put Your Horse On The Bit Correctly — ‘More of a Feeling Than a Picture’
  3. Stretching.
  4. Backing up.
  5. Cavaletti on the lunge or under saddle.
  6. Hill work.
  7. Like This Story?
  8. When in doubt, ride less with your hands.

Should you soak horse pellets?

Horses often eat hay pellets faster than traditional hay because the smaller, ground particles are easy to chew and swallow. Hay pellets also do not provide any long-stem forage. Pellets MUST be soaked before feeding, as they expand considerably when mixed with water.

How much water do you need to soak alfalfa pellets?

When feeding hay pellets, I do a ratio of 2:1, cold water to pellets. This works for alfalfa, timothy, or orchard grass pellets. Alfalfa pellets tend to be a bit drier (depending on the weather when and where they were made) so I soak them for 5 hours to get them to completely break down.

Alfalfa Pellets vs. Cubes: What’s Better for Your Horses?

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! On a recent visit to a friend’s horse farm, we noted that he’s feeding alfalfa cubes to his mares, which we thought was a nice touch. Seeing this prompted me to consider introducing cubes into our horses’ feed; however, I’m not sure if alfalfa pellets would be much better than cubes and would be less difficult to store.

Alfalfa pellets, cubes, and hay all have the same amount of vital elements per pound of weight as grain.

However, there are many factors to consider while selecting the best application for your horse, and storage is only one of them.

Type Nutritional value Price Storage Palatability
Alfalfa pellets 16% protein, 1.5% crude fat, and 30% fiber Prices vary from 15-40 dollars per 40 lb bag. Bags easy storage: 3/16ths to 1/2 inches pellets Tasty and easy to consume. Soaking slows eating and softens for senior horses.
Alfalfa cubes 16% protein, 1.5% crude fat, and 30% fiber Prices vary from 15-40 dollars per 40 lb bag. Bags easy storage: 1 1/2 to 2-inch cubes Tasty but hard, best fed broken and soaked in water.
Alfalfa hay Each bale is different. Must be analyzed Prices vary by region 21 in wide, by 16 inches high, by 3 to 4 feet long. Tasty hay, long-stem forage.

Alfalfa pellets and cubes have the same nutritional value.

The stability of the nutritional value of alfalfa pellets and cubes is a big advantage of using these products. It is necessary to develop and test each batch to guarantee that it has the proper amounts of proteins, lipids, and fibers, which are indicated on the label of each container. A prominent producer and marketer of commercial alfalfa pellets and cubes, Standlee gives an analysis of their product on the bags of pellets and cubes that they sell, as well as on their website. I ran the pellets and cubes through the lab and discovered that they each contain a minimum of 16 percent protein, 1.5 percent crude fat, and 30 percent fiber, according to the study.

However, the protein content of alfalfa hay varies significantly depending on the age at which it is harvested, where it is cultivated, and how it is cured and stored.

Note: Forage is essential in the development and maintenance of horses’ huge muscular frames.

Alfalfa pellets have less dust than cubes.

Grass is chopped into small parts and crushed before being fed into a die, where steam is used to moisten the hay and make it more malleable so that it may be concentrated into pellets. Using a die vask, this concentrated alfalfa mixture is turned inside and forced through a series of perforations. The pellets depart the die while still heated, and they cool and solidify swiftly. Pellets range in size from 3/16ths of an inch to 1/2 inch in diameter. The finished product is pure alfalfa grass pellets that contain low moisture and little dust, as described above.

Cubes are processed in a similar manner, except that the alfalfa hay is not crushed but rather roughly cut into minute pieces and then steamed instead of pulverized.

Instead of pellets, the alfalfa mixture is compressed and formed into 1 1/2 to 2-inch cubes using a die machine, rather than pellets. Despite the fact that Alfalfa cubes contain somewhat more dust than Alfalfa pellets, both contain far less dust and waste than ordinary Alfalfa hay does.

Alfalfa pellets are more convenient to feed than cubes.

Alfalfa pellets are stored in a drum and scraped out swiftly to be fed to your horses in a pail of water. They require no pre-mixing and are acceptable for use on the majority of horses right out of the bag. The most serious worry is that some horses may swallow them up too quickly and choke on them. In addition, because there is a risk of choking, you should never leave your pet unattended while it is eating pellets. It is best to mix the pellets with their feed or soak them in water before giving them to your horse if your animal is a fast eater.

It is advised that each cube be split into smaller pieces to make it easier for your horse to consume.

For a variety of reasons, many individuals soak cubes for 30 minutes before serving.

Alfalfa cubes are a better source of forage than pellets.

Horses require long-stem fodder due to the specific digestive mechanism that they have. A minimum of 1 percent of their body weight in forage each day, such as hay or grass or chaff with some grain is advised for their nutritional needs. The majority of horses ingest 2 percent of their body weight in fodder every day if they have access to pasture grass or adequate volumes of hay to eat. As an example, a 1000-pound horse would ingest around 20 lb of dry grass each day. In order to improve digestion of their meal, horses require a diet that includes long-stem fiber, which pellets do not supply.

Pellets are not a suitable hay alternative due to the lack of long-stem fiber in the pellets.

Alfalfa cubes are cut and compacted, rather than being crushed as is the case with pellets.

If hay is short, you can feed pellets in conjunction with one of the two methods listed above to totally replace grass; however, you should not use pellets as a substitute for hay in their whole.

Soak alfalfa pellets when feeding to older horses.

When it comes to horses with dental difficulties, alfalfa pellets and cubes fed moist are an excellent choice. Pellets are tiny and easy to eat for elderly horses once they have been softened. Pellets and cubes are hard to a certain extent; 30 minutes of soaking before feeding transforms them into an acceptable protein source for horses that have difficulties consuming grass or hay due to dental issues.

Pellets are a fantastic forage-based source of calories and protein for elderly horses that are unable to maintain a regular equine diet due to physical limitations. However, most horses in excellent health are able to acquire all of the protein they require from grass and hay.

Alfalfa cubes and pellets can cause colic.

Overeating and diets high in grains or concentrated meals are two of the most common causes of colic in horses, according to the ASPCA. Horses will consume far more alfalfa cubes and pellets than is necessary for their health if given the opportunity. Pellets are also abundant in alfalfa hay, increasing the likelihood of colic in the animals. A horse will most likely consume all of the alfalfa cubes that are given to them, but when offered alfalfa hay, they are fussy and will typically squander portion of it, according to the USDA.

Obesity and colic are caused by overindulging in alfalfa.

Colic is caused by the inability of pellets to transport food through the digestive tract since they do not include long-stem forage.

How much alfalfa cubes should a horse eat a day?

It was only lately that I began giving our horses alfalfa cubes, but I was confused of how much to give them at a time. As a result, I decided to do some research on alfalfa cubes in order to figure out how much to feed my horses each day. The amount of alfalfa cubes you feed a horse is determined by the size of the animal and the amount of labor it has to do. Horses consume around 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. of their body weight on a daily basis. Equine calorie requirements rise while they are training or working really hard.

should consume around 16 pounds of alfalfa cubes each day, according to the USDA.

If you observe that your horse is losing weight, you can give 1.5 percent of its bodyweight in alfalfa cubes and increase the number of cubes you’re giving him to compensate.

Are alfalfa pellets and cubes as good as alfalfa hay?

Older horsemen who still feed alfalfa hay are not convinced that alfalfa pellets and cubes are as healthy to horses as providing them with hay. As a result, I decided to investigate the advantages of hay versus cubes and pellets. Horses who consume hay get benefits that are not available to horses who eat pellets or cubes. Horses given hay, for example, spend more time grazing, which increases saliva production, boosts dental and digestive health, and minimizes boredom in the horses. Many horse owners assume that feeding their horses hay is the best option, but there are certain advantages to giving pellets and cubes instead.

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Alfalfa is high-quality hay.

Horses are grazing animals with small stomachs, and as a result, they benefit from consuming modest quantities over a long period of time to maintain their weight. Food enters their stomach and goes through to their hindgut in a relatively short period of time. In addition, the long fibers of hay provide barriers that absorb acids, so preventing stomach ulcers from forming. Horses are prone to colic and boredom as a result of the rapidity with which they consume cubes and pellets. However, colic can develop for a variety of reasons, and feeding tiny quantities of soaking cubes and pellets to regulate their intake can help to lessen the likelihood of it occurring.

Because grazing horses eat constantly, their teeth are worn down more regularly over time, resulting in superior dental health.

Chewing also results in the production of saliva in the horse’s mouth, which helps to keep the meal wet and lubricates the intestines.

In addition to being pleasant, alfalfa is a highly digested feed for horses.

Alfalfa that is of high grade should be lush and brilliant green in color. The protein and vitamins are concentrated in the leaves, and the vivid green color indicates excellent curing, the absence of mold, and a high concentration of carotene.

There are some advantages of pellets and cubes over hay.

Pellets and cubes are convenient for transporting horses over long distances since they are easy to pack and feed. There is no waste when using cubes and pellets because they take up less storage space. There is usually a lot of hay left on the ground that has to be cleaned up and disposed of in hay storage places, which may be frustrating. Pellets and cubes are convenient for transporting horses over long distances since they are easy to pack and feed. There is no waste when using cubes and pellets because they take up less storage space.

When horses are fed hay, they frequently just take the leaves and leave the stems; but, when horses are fed pellets, they swallow the complete product.

Each bag is labeled by the manufacturer, allowing you to make simple adjustments to your horse’s diet.

A senior horse with missing or broken down teeth might benefit greatly from the use of pellets, which provide calories and protein in large quantities.

Take your time when switching from hay to pellets.

Horses have a highly sensitive digestive system that is readily upset when their food is altered significantly. As a result, adjustments must be implemented gradually over a period of ten to two weeks; otherwise, colic and other digestive diseases are a possibility. Introduce the pellets by placing them on top of your horse’s hay diet while concurrently reducing the amount of hay your horse consumes. Gradually increase the amount of pellets you feed your horse while decreasing the amount of hay you offer him on a daily basis.

Also, keep in mind that one pound of alfalfa pellets has the same nutritional value as one pound of hay in terms of calories.


Alfalfa cubes are superior to alfalfa pellets in terms of overall quality for our objectives. Pellets cannot be used as a substitute for alfalfa hay, although cubes can be used in its place. In addition to being handy and providing excellent nutritional content, alfalfa cubes produce little waste. The only challenge is regulating the horses’ daily caloric intake.

Even while I don’t think we’ll be able to completely replace hay with cubes, it’s a feasible option. In case you’re interested in learning more about how to feed horses, you may read the following article: What Does a Horse Eat and Drink? A Comprehensive Guide to Feeding


No, bermudagrass hay is not harmful to horses; but, it does not provide all of the protein, critical minerals, and vitamins that horses require. On the plus side, it has a large amount of fiber, which aids in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients by horses. More information about Bermuda hay may be found in this article: Bermuda Hay – Is It Beneficial for Your Horse? Consider the following five facts.

Does feeding beet pulp to your horse cause diarrhea?

When fed to horses, beet pulp does not often produce diarrhea in the animals. As a matter of fact, many horse owners feed beet pulp to their horses suffering from diarrhea since it is high in fiber and dry content, which aids in the concentration of the stomach fluid. More information on the benefits and drawbacks of feeding your horse beet pulp can be found in this article: Feeding Beet Pulp to Horses: The Good and the Bad (and Where to Find It).


Alfalfa pellets and cubes are manufactured by Standlee, which is a world-renowned company. Although the prices on Amazon are exorbitant, I have provided you with a link to read what customers have to say about their items before making your purchase. The pellets earned a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, while the cubes obtained a rating of 4.5 stars.

  • Alfalfa cubes
  • Alfalfa cubes customer reviews
  • Alfalfa pellets
  • Alfalfa pellets customer reviews
  • Alfalfa cubes

Alfalfa Pellets

If you are seeking for a way to supplement your horse’s diet, alfalfa pellets may be the solution you’ve been looking for. In terms of nutrition, Alfalfa is an excellent choice since it is a high-quality, easy-to-digest feed that has a balanced mix of the nutrients your horse requires to be healthy and happy. Alfalfa pellets provide the same nutrients and fiber content as alfalfa hay, but without the mess and hassle of hay harvesting and handling. Some of the ways in which horses might benefit from having alfalfa in their diet are as follows:

  • The simple digestion of alfalfa makes it an excellent choice for packing weight on an underweight horse, as well as for supplying extra calories throughout the winter
  • Underweight horses or “hard keepers”: Horses in their golden years or those suffering from particular medical conditions: When alfalfa pellets are soaked in water, horses with dental concerns may easily chew and digest them, and the high nutritional content and solubility of the pellets assist in the prevention or treatment of illnesses such as ulcers and colic. Pregnant and nursing mares: Starting about the eighth month of pregnancy, alfalfa offers the extra nutrients that pregnant and nursing mares require
  • This begins during the eighth month of pregnancy. To offer calories and minerals to weanlings and yearlings, Alfalfa is also an easy-to-digest source of carbohydrates and protein. Any horse participating in an activity program or in need of a well-balanced diet: When fed to horses who are frequently exercised, alfalfa provides them with a significant amount of extra protein and minerals.

How to Feed Alfalfa Pellets

If your horse falls into any of these categories, you may use alfalfa pellets to augment their current diet and keep them healthy. This varies depending on how many calories you want your horse to obtain from the feed compared to calories from other sources, but you can feed anywhere from several pounds per day to free choice for weanlings and yearlings. Although the pellets can be offered dry, many horses prefer to have them soaked in water and then served as a mash instead. It may be necessary to soak the pellets first in the case of young horses, elderly horses, and horses with dental difficulties.

Initially, a quarter pound of pellets per day can be introduced, with the amount increasing progressively until the appropriate amount is reached.

Beginner’s Guide to Feeding Horse Pellets

The use of horse pellets provides a clean, nutrient-dense, and less wasteful method of feeding your horses.

However, for horse owners who are new to the practice of feeding hay pellets, there are a few pitfalls to be aware of. Here is a step-by-step guide for those who are new to feeding horse pellets.

  • Determine the specific requirements of each horse. If so, does your horse have access to enough of green pasture or is he fed high-quality hay to keep him healthy? If this is the case, he may just require hay pellets during the winter, when pasture isn’t as excellent, or a little quantity year-round as a supplement to his diet as a result of this. However, certain horses may require their pasture or hay to be substituted entirely with soaked hay pellets, such as those who are elderly or unwell, or those who have difficulties with their teeth. Feeding is done by weight. When it comes to hay, a typical rule of thumb is to feed a horse 1.5 to 2.5 percent of their body weight every day. This equates to 15 to 25 pounds of hay each day for a 1,000-pound horse, however the amount of hay required may vary based on the amount of exercise the horse experiences. While pelleted feed is more nutrient rich than loose feed, it is still important to start slowly and carefully monitor your horse’s weight. Consider your horse’s overall diet at all times
  • This should include hay and pasture, horse pellets and grain, as well as any mashes or treats that have been provided
  • Make diet modifications gradually. It is important to transition your horse’s diet over a period of a week or so to prevent triggering any digestive disorders that might eventually lead to colic. This is true whether you are replacing grain or hay kinds, or making a more significant adjustment such as transitioning from hay to horse pellets. Only supplement when necessary, and avoid overfeeding. One of the advantages of topelletedfeed over pasture or hay is that the nutritional content may be assured to be as high as possible. Hay pellets are consequently more complete than hay cubes, and further supplements should not be necessary unless your horse has a specific deficit or ailment that you are addressing.

The preparation of horse feed shouldn’t be a difficult mathematical problem, or even worse, a guessing game. Follow these recommendations, but keep in mind that horses, like people, are all unique individuals with specific requirements. Keep a close eye on your horse’s weight and make adjustments to his or her feed as needed. And, as always, consult your veterinarian before making any large dietary or supplement changes.

Feeding Guidelines For Horses

All diets must contain sufficient amounts of fodder, which can be delivered in the form of pasture or hay. Horses who are grazing or that are fed free choice high quality hay will consume around 1.5-2.5 percent of their body weight every day (based on dry matter consumption).

  • For most mature horses, a daily hay intake of 1.4–1.5 percent of their body weight should be provided to ensure adequate nutrition. In order to avoid digestive problems, long-stem fodder or pasture should be utilized. To promote intestinal health, forage offers dietary fiber, which is obtained from plants. Difference between long-stem hay and processed forages– A minimum of 50% of the total forage ingested each day should be long-stem hay (bale hay). The amount of processed hay (pellets or cubes) ingested each day should not exceed 50 percent of the total forage consumed. A horse that eats long-stem hay has to drink more water because it contains more fiber than processed hay. Long-stem hay also helps the horse’s gut to contract more vigorously, which helps to maintain gut integrity. Increased water consumption helps to maintain gut integrity. Forages that have been processed Influences on Consumption– When feeding processed hays as opposed to baled hay, there is often reduced feeding loss. When hay flakes are fed in racks or on the ground, forage pellets and cubes are often supplied in tubs and troughs, which reduces the amount of hay that is lost. If processed hays are included in the daily diet, you may be able to feed fewer total forages
  • But, horses will take less water if they are fed processed hay. Alfalfa Hay Feeding Limits– Alfalfa hay (in the form of bales, cubes, or pellets) should not account for more than 50% of the total forage ingested in a given day. Alfalfa is abundant in protein and calcium
  • But, if it is used as the sole forage supply, the connection between these nutrients and energy will be negatively affected. The fact that a 100 percent alfalfa forage diet often has much less fiber than traditional grass forage diets such as timothy, Bermudagrass, and orchard grass hays should be taken into mind when planning your diet. When compared to traditional grass hay, alfalfa might deliver up to 25 percent less dietary crude fiber, depending on the location and cutting. Feeding Limits for Cereals, Grains, and Hay– Cereal grain hays (bale, cube, or pellet), such as oat hay, barley hay, 3-way hay, and other similar products, should not account for more than 50% of the total forage taken each day in ruminants. The seed heads of cereal grain hays contain an unknown amount of nonstructural carbohydrate, compared to other sources. Furthermore, the majority of cereal grain hays are at a stage of maturity that results in higher fiber levels that are less appealing. The result is that horses “pick-through” the hay, picking the grain-heads and ingesting less of the forage’s fiber content. What Constitutes a Dietary Alteration? – In the context of the daily diet, any increase, reduction, addition, or replacement of feed is referred to as a “change-over” or “change.” A change in the amount of forage provided and the amount of concentrates supplied may have an impact on the interaction between the two. The ratios of concentrate to roughage may be adjusted to suit individual needs, and it is one of various strategies for influencing the “energy levels and quality” of the diet. Although the recommendations may be deemed cautious, the purpose is to ensure that the microflora that lives in the stomach has an appropriate opportunity to acclimate.
  • Dietary Modifications for Hay– The pace of change will be determined by the kind of hay used, such as switching from legume to grass, grass to grass, or grass to legume. Change-over rates of 1/2–1.0 lb per day are recommended when switching from legume hay to alfalfa or grass hay, for example. Change-overs from one type of grass hay to another should occur at a rate of 3/4 to 1.5 lb per day when possible. Increased Dietary Adjustments for Concentrates- The guideline is to increase the amount of concentrates fed per day by roughly 1/4 lb for changes in concentrates such as grains, grain base mixes, commodities (oats, maize, barley, wheat bran, and so on) or balanced feed mixtures. Some conditions may need modifications on an every other day basis
  • However, this is not always the case.
  • Water should be made available without restriction prior to the performance and should not be limited. Any water source must be monitored at least once a day. The ideal water temperature is between 50° and 65° F. Horses will drink less water if the water temperature is too cold or too hot for them to drink. horses who drink less water are more prone to suffer from digestive issues than horses who drink more water. Concentrate Feeding – Feeding particular feedstuffs or commodities, such as oats, corn, wheat bran, or other grains, is not a balanced strategy to feeding horses in most cases, according to the American Feed Industry Association. In order to satisfy energy and nutritional requirements, horse owners may consider feeding balance formulae, which are commercially available and can be used to supplement the forage part of the diet if necessary. The formulation of balanced formulae by respectable firms is carried out by highly qualified professionals who are familiar with the nutrient content of feedstuffs as well as the nutritional requirements of horses. The term “maintenance fed horse” refers to an adult horse that is not in any way active, is not pregnant, is not producing milk, and is not involved in regular daily activity. These horses may be fed dry forages or pasture to keep them healthy. Small quantities of a balanced formula or vitamin/mineral supplement may be required to augment the forage component of the diet, depending on the location and the availability of high-quality forage sources. To discourage a horse from bolting his food and consuming his pellets, grains or texture mixtures too quickly, consider adding huge “bolder-like” boulders as barriers in the feed tub, requiring him to maneuver around the impediments in order to swallow his meal. Food Bolter Feed tubs that are intended to decrease bolting are readily available on the market. Set up a number of feeding stations if the horse is in a corral to force the horse to eat more often while traveling from one feeding station to another.
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Horses’ Feed Consumption Estimated by the USDA ( percent body weight)

Stage of Production Long-stem Forage Balance Concentrate Total
Mature Horses
Maintenance 1.4 – 2.0 0 – 0.5 1.4 – 2.0
Active Maintenance 1.5 – 2.0 0 – 0.25 1.6 – 2.0
Breeding Stallion 1.5 – 2.0 0.25 – 0.75 1.75 – 2.25
Late pregnancy, mares 1.5 – 1.75 0.5 – 0.75 2.0 – 2.25
Early lactation, mares 1.5 – 2.0 0.5 – 0.75 2.0 – 2.75
Late lactation, mares 1.5 – 2.0 0.5 – 0.75 2.0 – 2.75
Working Horses
Light work 1.5 – 2.0 0.25 – 0.75 1.75 – 2.5
Moderate work 1.5 – 2.0 0.5 – 1.0 2.0 – 2.75
Intense work 1.6 – 2.0 0.75 – 1.25 2.5 – 3.0
Growing Horses
Nursing foal, 3 months 0.5 – 1.0 0.5 – 1.0
Weanling, 6 months 0.75 – 1.0 1.0 – 1.5 2.0 – 2.5
Yearling, 12 months 1.0 – 1.5 1.0 – 1.25 2.0 – 2.75
Long yearling, 18 months 1.25 – 1.5 0.5 – 1.0 2.0 – 2.5
Two year old, 24 months 1.25 – 1.5 0.5 – 1.0 2.0 – 2.5

Whether air-dried or as-fed (about 90 percent DM)

How Much Alfalfa Pellets To Feed A Horse Per Day?

Is it necessary to feed a horse Alfalfa pellets on a daily basis? Every day, you should consume around 16 pounds of alfalfa cubes. Horses are unique individuals, and their nutritional needs should be tailored to their level of fitness and overall body condition. If you observe your horse losing weight, giving 1.5 percent of its body weight in alfalfa and increasing the number of cubes you’re providing may be the best option for you. How many pellets should I give my horse each day? o The amount of pelleted feed to give a horse is determined by the horse’s size and the season.

  • Is it possible to give alfalfa pellets to horses in a dry form?
  • It may be necessary to soak the pellets first in the case of young horses, elderly horses, and horses with dental difficulties.
  • Is it safe for horses to eat alfalfa pellets?
  • Alfalfa is frequently used as a feed for horses because of its high nutritional content and high roughage value, among other reasons.

How Much Alfalfa Pellets To Feed A Horse Per Day – Related Questions

A horse’s usual hay intake is 1.5-2 percent of their body weight, which corresponds to 18-24 lbs. of hay each day for an adult horse. The amount of hay required and whether or not supplementary grain should be fed will be determined by the quality of the hay. Alfalfa can include 18-20 percent protein and 55 percent total digestible nutrients (TDN) or calories.

How much grain should a 1000 pound horse eat?

In order to maintain an active horse weighing 1,000 pounds, you should feed it around 9 pounds of grain each day in addition to excellent quality hay.

How long does a 50 lb bag of horse feed last?

How long does a 50-pound bag of horse feed keep its freshness?

Do a Little Calculation You should be able to keep this meal for a maximum of nine more weeks (or 63 days). 14 pounds every day, or 882 pounds (or 17.6 50-pound bags), is the equivalent of 882 pounds.

How much alfalfa pellets should I give my horse?

Every day, you should consume around 16 pounds of alfalfa cubes. Horses are unique individuals, and their nutritional needs should be tailored to their level of fitness and overall body condition. If you observe your horse losing weight, giving 1.5 percent of its body weight in alfalfa and increasing the number of cubes you’re providing may be the best option for you.

How long do you soak alfalfa pellets for horses?

I’ve discovered that alfalfa pellets need to be soaked for between five and six hours in order to thoroughly decompose. The night before I feed them in the winter, I soak them in water overnight so they are ready the next day. However, this is not practicable during the hotter months of the year in Arizona because the pellets become too hot and moldy while being soaked in the water.

Which is better alfalfa pellets or hay?

The decision between feeding your horse alfalfa pellets or hay has been placed in your hands. A: Alfalfa hay and alfalfa pellets have comparable nutrient profiles when it comes to nutrient content. The primary difference between the two is the amount of time the horse takes to chew when consuming them. Alfalfa pellets will be consumed considerably more quickly by a horse than baled alfalfa.

Is too much alfalfa bad for horses?

Alfalfa hay may induce diarrhea in horses if they consume too much of it since it is high in nutrients and dense in fiber. Alfalfa overfeeding can also cause a horse to have excessive gas, develop laminitis, and founder.

Is alfalfa good for older horses?

Older horses sometimes have trouble chewing hay because their teeth have become worn down or have fallen out completely. Coleman has discovered that hay that is a mixture of grasses and legumes, such as orchard-alfalfa or timothy-alfalfa, is frequently an excellent choice for horses.

Can I feed my horse straight alfalfa?

Horses may effectively ingest alfalfa, which is a high-fiber and high-protein food source. They can graze on it in meadows or consume it as hay, depending on the species. Myth: You should not give plain alfalfa to young horses who are still developing.

Can you free feed alfalfa to horses?

If you want to feed your horse hay, you may give him free choice of alfalfa or grain (such oat or rye), and most horses will manage their consumption of these, as well. Alfalfa and oat hays are frequently heavier in calories than other hays, therefore they will cause many horses to gain weight.

Why is alfalfa bad for horses?

Excess protein, similar to excess energy, has been suggested as a contributing factor to developing orthopedic illness in horses in the growth stage. Alfalfa hay includes an excessive amount of calcium and/or magnesium a. When calcium levels are high, the calcium:phosphorus ratio is also high, which may be a contributing factor to developmental orthopedic disease (DOD).

Can too much alfalfa cause laminitis?

If too much alfalfa hay is offered, it can lead horses to founder and develop laminitis as a result of the extra nutrients provided by the high quality hay. If too much alfalfa hay is fed, it can cause horses to founder and develop laminitis.

How much grain should you feed a horse per day?

Meal more than 11 pounds of grain per day, or 4-5 pounds of grain every feeding, increases the horse’s risk of colic by a factor of 6.

Don’t be concerned about a horse being overheated as a result of an excessive amount of protein. Protein provides only ten percent of the energy required by the horse, making it a negligible source of energy. DO NOT FEED COMPLIMENTS unless they are absolutely necessary.

How many pounds is a scoop of horse feed?

While a 2-litre (1/2-gallon) scoop of a pelleted feed can weigh up to 1.5 kilograms (three pounds), a 2-litre scoop of lucerne chaff can weigh significantly less than one kilogram (three pounds). Weighting feeds properly and easily is possible with the use of typical types of scales.

How much grain should a horse get per day?

Make sure there is enough of roughage. Every day, a horse’s roughage intake should be one to two percent of his or her total body weight.

How much grain should a 1200 pound horse eat?

Light exercise for a horse weighing 1200 lbs. In this example, this horse would require between 4.8 and 7.2 pounds of this feed each day in order to acquire the nourishment he requires to maintain his health. Some horses who are simpler to maintain can be placed at the lower end of the range, whilst horses that are tougher to keep may need to be placed at the upper end of the range.

Do horses need salt blocks?

Every summer turnout place, in addition to providing shade and a source of fresh water, should be equipped with a salt block. Horses lose significant amounts of this vital mineral via their sweat, and if this mineral is not replaced, an electrolyte imbalance can develop, resulting in low blood pressure and potentially neurological or cardiovascular disorders.

Should I feed alfalfa pellets?

Generally speaking, alfalfa pellets for horses are available in fifty-pound sacks and may be purchased at practically any feed store. They are more helpful when combined with alfalfa cubes and beet pulp, which are also available. If you combine the pellets with a high-fiber source like as long-stemmed grasses, they can help to restore the calories lost when hay is unavailable or sparse.

How long do alfalfa pellets last?

Heat processed feeds (such as hay or alfalfa pellets) often have a longer storage life than unheated feeds (such as grain). This is owing to the fact that the heat kills certain microorganisms. Experts generally agree that commercial pellets are viable for around six months after they are harvested. Textured feeds should be utilized within three months of when they were manufactured.

Will alfalfa pellets put weight on a horse?

Alfalfa has a greater caloric and protein content than grass hays, making it a good alternative for horses who are underweight or need to put on weight. Allow one pound (dry weight) every meal up to 0.5 percent of your horse’s body weight at first, then increase the amount as needed.

Can alfalfa cubes replace hay?

Forage cubes can be fed in the same manner as hay, at a 1:1 ratio to the same type of hay that the horse is presently consuming. For example, you may substitute five pounds of alfalfa hay with five pounds of alfalfa cubes, adjusting the amount as necessary to keep the animal’s weight at the right level.

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All About Feeding Horses Alfalfa – The Horse

Alfalfa is a common crop in several parts of the country, and it is consumed on a regular basis. Because it is cheaply available and widely fed, it makes sense to use it as the cornerstone of many horses’ diets. In some locations, it is considered a delicacy of sorts, transported in from various countries and purchased by the bale on the advise of a veterinarian to aid in the nutritional support of certain horses in need. Alfalfa is just not a good choice for some sorts of horses, whether they are in the show ring or the pasture.

Our goal is to dispel any misconceptions you may have about alfalfa, beginning with a brief history of the plant, and to clear up any misunderstandings you may have about this feed, including how to grow it.

Alfalfa Goes Way Back

Grass and legumes are the two types of forage for horses that may be found in the wild. Grasses that you are likely familiar with include orchardgrass, timothy, and bermudagrass, all of which are long and stemmy in appearance. In addition to being members of the pea family, forage legumes such as clover and alfalfa are also distant cousins of peanuts and garbanzo beans. “Alfalfa is a perennial legume that is grown in most regions of the United States for the purpose of feeding horses and other livestock,” explains Krishona Martinson, PhD, associate professor and equine extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Minnesota in Falcon Heights.

  • It was one of the first domesticated forages to be harvested.
  • “Alfalfa was the primary source of nutrition for the horses of the early armies in those locations,” he explains.
  • and did not fare well, in part due to the wetter soils and lower pH of the soil, according to Smith.
  • In the western United States, the use of alfalfa developed fast, owing to the realization that it “suited well with that environment” and less-acidic soil types, according to Smith.
  • Today, alfalfa grows best on well-drained soils rather than moist soils, which is still the case.

Which Horses Benefit From Alfalfa?

Martinson explains that the most significant advantage of alfalfa for horses is that it is generally more nutrient-dense than most grasses when picked at the same stage of maturity as the grasses. When compared to nonstructural carbohydrates, it often provides more digestible energy, more crude protein, and higher calcium content (sugars and starches). Because it is so nutrient-dense, it is an excellent feed for horses that are underweight. Martinson believes that because of the decreased amount of nonstructural carbs in the diet, it can be advantageous to horses with muscular difficulties who are prone to tying up (because of their higher protein requirements) as well as horses that have equine metabolic syndrome (EMS).

  1. Nevertheless, “when dealing with developing horses, employ caution in the amount fed, just to ensure that they do not grow too quickly or get too large too quickly, putting them at risk for DOD (developmental orthopedic disease),” Martinson advises.
  2. The sugar content of some grass hays is also too high for these horses, and here is where a legume diet or a mixed legume/grass diet might be beneficial in reducing overall sugar consumption.
  3. For example, a horse who is overweight and insulin resistant need a lower-sugar hay (alfalfa), but not the more calories, according to Martinson.
  4. The cost savings can be significant if you also have horses that perform well on less nutrient-dense hay, like in this case.
  5. You may get the same results by supplementing a grass hay diet with alfalfa pellets or cubes.
  6. You could feed alfalfa to performance horses an hour or two before work or competition, at which time acid might splash up into the nonglandular area of the stomach and cause discomfort (where the cells of the lining do not produce protective mucus).
  7. Horses with a need for extra muscle, particularly along the topline, may benefit from the legume, which may be given to them by their owners.

“This approach is particularly prevalent in the East, where a large amount of marginal grass hay is given.” ​

Which Horses Should Not Eat Alfalfa?

Some horse owners assume that alfalfa makes their horses “hot,” but according to Martinson, there is no scientific evidence to support this. Considering that alfalfa has more energy than grass hay of equivalent age, it’s possible that a horse who gets a lot of alfalfa but doesn’t get much exercise will have greater energy, according to her. “The most serious problem with alfalfa is that it causes weight gain in horses that do not get enough exercise.” Furthermore, it provides more nutrients than the majority of nonworking horses require, resulting in obesity and the complications that accompany it.

  1. According to Duren, alfalfa is a fantastic source of nutrition for sport horses, but owners should avoid providing it while horses are working hard in hot weather.
  2. The horse’s capacity to disperse heat may be impaired as a result of the additional heat.
  3. As Duren explains, “Additional protein cannot be kept in the body like extra fat or carbs and must be expelled,” meaning it must leave the body.
  4. As a result, there is more urine and, thus, greater ammonia odor.
  5. “Because ammonia is heavier than air, it is concentrated close to the earth.” While providing an excessive amount of protein is wasteful, a high-protein diet in and of itself is not harmful to a healthy horse.
  6. As a result of their difficulties digesting and excreting protein, these patients should be kept on a very low-protein diet.
  7. The increased body heat, water requirements, and urine output indicated above are the last things you want on an endurance ride where the horse is sweating for extended periods of time.

While endurance athletes, like any other performance horse, might benefit from limited amounts of alfalfa, Duren advises that they should not rely on it as their main or primary feed source.

As a result of the abundance of alfalfa hay and balancer pellets available in California, many cutting, reining, and other performance horses are able to subsist on this diet alone, and they do just well,” says the author.

It is believed that these horses are suffering from hyperkalemia, which is an excessive quantity of potassium in the blood, which causes their muscles to contract more rapidly than usual and makes them more prone to occasional bouts of muscular tremors and paralysis.

Nevertheless, according to Duren, potassium levels in forage are depending on what the plants are sucking up from the soil at the time.

If I had a horse who was sensitive to potassium, I would get the hay tested rather than excluding alfalfa altogether.

Mold that appears on the undersides of legume leaves, notably alfalfa, and causes black blotches to appear on the leaves.

Ingesting this mold can cause severe ­sunburn in horses, which can cause major damage to the unpigmented regions of their body, according to the author. The liver damage caused by the chemicals in the mold, on the other hand, is the more significant problem with these horses.

Selecting Alfalfa Hay

Always inspect alfalfa for cleanliness and the absence of dust or mold before purchasing it, just as you would with any other type of hay. Additionally, a healthy leaf-to-stem ratio should be sought (most of the nutrients are in the leaves; the stems are more fibrous). It should be green in color, which indicates that there are more leaves and that the hay has not been weathered or rained on prior to being stacked, according to Smith. A mixed grass/alfalfa hay is an excellent choice if your horse does not require the high nutritional content of pure alfalfa.

According to Smith, factors like as maturity, harvest circumstances, soil conditions, and other factors might have an impact on protein, energy, and mineral levels.

Ragwort, groundsels, Johnson grass, Sudangrass, water hemlock, and hoary alyssum are some of the poisonous weeds that might appear in alfalfa fields from time to time.

Take-Home Message

Make sure to account for the individual nutritional requirements of the animal when introducing alfalfa into his or her diet. A balanced ration may be put together with the assistance of your feed salesman, veterinarian, and nutritionist, who can also advise you on whether or not to give this forage. Despite the fact that alfalfa is a fantastic feed for horses, “a lot of horse owners are terrified by it and believe they should not feed it,” adds Martinson. All that is required is that the diet be managed properly.

How To Soak & Feed Alfalfa, Timothy or Grass Pellets

Mary Walby contributed to this article. I started giving soaked hay pellets when I acquired a senior horse for rehabilitation who had been suffering from severe diarrhea for some months. I was informed by the equine dentist that his teeth were entirely worn out and he was no longer capable of eating hay. In response to my concern about the diarrhea, he stated that huge unchewed chunks of hay might “irritate the colon” and result in it being constipated. I couldn’t contain my excitement. Could it be that all I needed to do was remove the hay from his diet and replace it with something else to give him, and the diarrhea would go away?

However, I had already gone through the ordeal of dealing with grain difficulties with another horse and the resulting damage to his intestines.

Fortunately, I was able to contact with a holistic veterinarian, who advised providing hay pellets or cubes, which should be measured and provided in the same amount as you would feed hay.

During the growing season, he maintained his weight on pasture and consumed 1 percent of his body weight in pellets, and then consumed 1.5 percent of his body weight in pellets during the winter months.

The added perk was that I didn’t have to pay any more vet costs after that! Within two weeks of starting his new diet, the diarrhea had vanished completely, never to be seen again.

How to soakfeed pellets

For hay pellets, I use a 2:1 cold water to pellets ratio while I am watering them. This method works for pellets made from alfalfa, timothy, or orchard grass. Alfalfa pellets tend to be a little dryer than other pellets (depending on the weather conditions when and where they were harvested), so I soak them for 5 hours to ensure that they are thoroughly broken down and digestible. I’ve had two instances of elderly horses choking on hay pellets, both of which were separate senior horses. Occasionally, the pellets were entirely dry and the situation necessitated veterinarian assistance.

  • It took the horse almost half an hour to figure it out on his own, but after that I just opted to soak them until they were fully broken down, and I haven’t had another problem since.
  • I always check the fragrance to be sure it hasn’t started to ferment before feeding them.
  • It is possible for me to soak the pellets overnight outside or in an unheated garage during the winter, when it is chilly.
  • However, I prefer to feed them after 5 hours of bathing whenever feasible, regardless of whether it is hot or freezing outside the house.
  • This is the one disadvantage of this method.
  • Because of this, I fed him smaller portions, storing the pellets in an insulated bucket and only giving him what he could consume within 20 minutes.
  • The pellets are somewhat broken down, but not completely, and the alfalfa pellets are less broken down than the grass hay pellets, so I remain and watch the horses eat on rare occasions when I don’t have time to soak for 5 hours.
  • Leave any further questions in the Comments area below if you have any other inquiries.
  • The essence of Aikido would penetrate and improve every part of her life, from her piano performances and teaching to her work with elderly horses.

God’s Window Senior Horse Rehab and Sanctuary, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the health and wellbeing of all senior horses from a holistic approach, was recently established by Jennifer. Horse listeners have shared their own stories and experiences with us.

How much alfalfa pellets should I feed my horse?

For example, if the grass hay is 13 percent protein, 10 pounds of grass hay (the minimum amount of grass hay that a 1000-pound horse should consume per day) contains 1.08 pounds of protein. In contrast, 2 pounds of alfalfa pellets (assuming 15 percent protein on a dry matter basis) will contain only 0.25 pound of protein (assuming 15 percent protein on a dry matter basis). Feeding is done by weight. An average 1,000-pound horse requires 15 to 25 pounds of hay per day, although the amount required will vary depending on the amount of activity the horse experiences.

Second, is it possible to give alfalfa pellets to horses in a dry state?

For younghorses, oldhorses, and those with dental difficulties, soaking thepelletsfirst may be a must.

In a similar vein, one would wonder whether alfalfa pellets will cause a horse to gain weight.

If your horse has a tendency to waste his hay, alfalfahaycubes or pellets may encourage him to eat more of the stuff.

Alfalfa Pelletsare extremely low sugar anddonotneed soaking, soshouldnot become rocket fuel for any animal.

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